HARVEY, La. - The body of a six-year-old Louisiana girl who has been missing since Saturday was found in a dumpster near the end of the apartment complex where she lived, according to the mother of the child.
Ahlittia North was last seen by her parents when they put her to bed on Friday night. Her stepfather awoke the next morning to find that North had vanished overnight, along with a queen-sized blanket, a toothbrush and toothpaste.
North's body was discovered around 1 a.m. Tuesday, her mother said. Deputies returned to the apartments on Destrehan Avenue to question neighbors about whether they had heard or seen anything related to the dumpster.
"I woke up to the detectives knocking on the door around 1:30, 1:40-something in the morning. So, I'm figuring something was really going on, because they wouldn't be knocking on nobody's door this time in the morning. So I came out and I answered the questions for them. They asked me did I see anybody move garbage cans. I threw up when I found out, I ain't going to even lie. I threw up when I found out the little girl was missing, because, I'm going to be real, it could be my niece, nephew, anybody," neighbor Janeisheia Biagas said.
Monday afternoon, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office released the identity of a person of interest in relation to North's disappearance. Matthew Flugence, 20, is the nephew of North's stepfather, according to the sheriff's office. His exact connection to the case was unclear.
Flugence has an outstanding warrant against him for an alleged sexual battery of an 11-year-old. He lived on the same block of Destrehan Avenue as North, JPSO said.
"Flugence remains a person of interest, and we have yet to locate him," according to JPSO Col. John Fortunato.
The search for the girl was massive and involved several law enforcement agencies, including the FBI.
During the search, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office set up a mobile command center near the apartment complex.
The dumpster was removed from the scene around 5 a.m., according to neighbors. Around 6:30 a.m., neighbors and community members set up a vigil near North's home.
At 7 a.m., a dozen more deputies showed up on scene and blocked off a larger portion of the apartment complex with crime tape. FBI agents also showed up around the same time.